Hammertime: Stacey Solomon Says Mitchell Has The X-Factor; Walsh Brothers Aim To Emulate The Canaries

Pop star Stacey Solomon will make sure Kevin Mitchell has the X-Factor when he faces Michael Katsidis on May 15 at Upton Park. The 20-year-old, who rocketed to fame after making the final of last year’s X-Factor, will sing the national anthem at the fight to be televised live on Sky Sports 1 – and demonstrated a handy right hook when she met up with Mitchell this week. Solomon is the latest celebrity to back Mitchell in his big showdown with the power punching Australian, following actor Ray Winstone, Chelsea star Joe Cole and punk band The Cockney Rejects..

Soloman was put through her paces by Mitchell at the Peacock Gym, Canning Town, during a break from his training camp.

And the Interim WBO World lightweight title challenger welcomed the support of his fellow Dagenham resident.

“It’s an honour Stacey will be singing God Save the Queen for me,” said Mitchell.

“She’s got a great voice – and like most Dagenham girls she can whack a bit as well. I bet her other half doesn’t take any liberties with her!”

Solomon, who has just returned from an X-Factor tour, revealed that she is a massive Mitchell fan.

“I’d heard a lot about Kevin and we know the same people, us both coming from Dagenham,” she said.

“Ever since I was asked to sing the national anthems, I’ve been watching his fights on You Tube.

“I can’t believe how hard he punches, but it’s so scary!

“He’s definitely got the X-Factor and I think he’ll become a world champion on May 15.”

“I’m going to tell all the other guys who were on the show with me that they should come along to the fight because it’s going to be a very special occasion.”

Mitchell said that his promoter Frank Warren is the Simon Cowell of boxing with the amount of stars he has created.

“Frank has done a fantastic job with me and my career and I don’t want to be with any other promoter.

“Just look at the amount of megstars he has made over the years like Naseem Hamed, Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe, Nigel Benn and Amir Khan.

“I don’t think Simon Cowell has created as many as Frank yet!

“When you compare my career to a fighter like John Murray, who’s a good kid, but he’s still boxing in small leisure centers and nobody has heard of him.

“This is where Frank has the golden touch, he got me the guy who sparked out Amir Khan – Breidis Prescott – and then he got me a world title fight against a big name like Katsidis and to top it off he made my dream come true and puts the fight on at West Ham United in front of 15,000 fans.

“Very few promoters can do what Frank does and create a star from scratch. That’s why he’s the best.”

On his preparations for the fight, Mitchell added: “Everything is going great and I’ve got a game plan to beat Katsidis.

“I was down at West Ham on Saturday and the place was buzzing after we got the win to keep us in the Premiership.

“Everyone is on a high right now, and hopefully that will carry on into my fight.”


Norfolk’s fighting Walsh brothers have vowed to emulate Norwich City – and become champions by the end of the year.

The Canaries have just gained promition to the Championship, and barring a miracle will be crowned First Division champions at the end of the season.

And Ryan, Liam and Michael Walsh have vowed to keep the region’s sporting profile flying high by blazing their way to titles during 2010.

The exciting trio appear at West Ham’s Upton Park football ground on May 15 as part of the undercard to Kevin Mitchell’s interim WBO lightweight title challenge against Michael Katsidis live on Sky Sports 1.

With their boxing apprenticeships nearly over, the unbeaten brothers are pleading with promoter Frank Warren to be let off the leash.

“We’re ready for titles, sooner rather than later,” said 25-year-old Michael Walsh, who has finished off all seven of his opponents inside the distance.

“Norwich City going back up to the Championship has created a real buzz, but there will be more sporting success to come.

“After a couple more fights all three of us will be ready for titles. We’re pushing each other every day in the gym, and we’ve improved so much since we first turned professional.”

Little brother Ryan, who has won nine out of nine, added: “We’ve had some good boxers down here recently, including the likes of Herbie Hide and Jon Thaxton.

“Now it’s time for the next generation to come through. Along with Sam Sexton, we’re planning to make big waves over the next few years. We will definitely be ready for championship fights by the end of 2010.”

Liam, Ryan’s twin, said: “It meant a lot to us when Frank Warren included us in his 10 fighters to watch for the coming decade, and we won’t let him down. I’m ready for anyone at lightweight in the country.”

‘Hammer Time’ is headlined by Kevin Mitchell’s challenge for the WBO Interim World Lightweight Championship against Michael Katsidis. A quality packed undercard includes the British and Commonwealth Heavyweight Championship between Danny Williams and Sam Sexton; Olympic Gold medallist James DeGale challenges for the first title in his career – the WBA International Super-Middleweight Championship; unbeaten heavyweight star Derek Chisora; and Britain’s hottest young prospects Frankie Gavin and Billy Joe Saunders.

Tickets for ‘Hammer Time’, priced at £30, £40, £50, £80, £150, £200 & £250, are available from:

West Ham Ticket Hotline: 0871 222 2700*
Website: www.whufc.com

See Tickets Ticket Hotline: 0871 2200 260*
Website: www.seetickets.com

Ticketmaster: 0844 847 2500*
Website: www.ticketmaster.co.uk

*Subject to booking fee.

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